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Paula Abdul Speaks Out About Bulimia

Jun 19th, 1995

Paula's Battle with Bulimia
Source: Jet, June 19, 1995

Abstract: Singer Abdul confessed to having had bulimia for about 17 years on a television interview. She had always viewed herself as too short and overweight, and described her eating disorder as self-punishment. She confronted her problem through psychiatric therapy.

Pop singer Paula Abdul recently revealed that she has had a battle with bulimia for most of her life. During an interview on the ABC-TV news show "PrimeTime Live," she revealed that she has suffered from the severe eating disorder for about 17 years. Bulimia is an eating disorder in which persons quickly eat large amounts of food and then make themselves vomit so that they will not gain weight.

Abdul said she was "very much a perfectionist as a child" and wanted "to make everything perfect." She described herself as "an overachiever" and in high school was class president, a top honor student and head cheerleader. She had it all, but she has always thought she was too short and overweight.

Ms. Abdul described the eating disorder as "a violent punishment you put on yourself."

Ironically, the 5-foot-2 singer-dancer-choreographer has always weighed between 105 and 110. Battling bulimia has been like "war on my body. Me and my body have been on two separate sides. We've never, until recently, been on the same side."

She said, "I learned at a very early age I didn't fit in physically. I learned through years of rejections from auditions .... I would ask myself, "Why can't I be tall and skinny like the other dancers?"

This past summer she finally came to terms with her problem after undergoing extensive therapy at a psychiatric clinic in Oklahoma.

She kept the month-long therapy a secret and was afraid she would disappoint her fans. "I thought `God I'm not perfect. I'm going to disappoint people," she sobbed. "That's what I thought."

She now feels she learned how to deal with her bulimia. "I feel pretty good," she said.

Ms. Abdul's hits include Knocked Out, Forever Your Girl and Rush Rush. A former choreographer for the Los Angeles Lakers, she won fame as Janet Jackson's choreographer in the mid-80s.

Her third album, Head Over Heels, with the new single, "My Love Is For Real" is set for release this week.

Filed under: Health


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